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House Approves Bill to Reassert Congress’ Constitutional Authority Over Trade, Strengthen U.S.-Taiwan Relationship

June 22, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation today to reassert Congress’ sole authority over international trade while showcasing significant support for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 4004), bipartisan legislation introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08), formally confirms Congress’ support for the “Initial Agreement” that was negotiated by the Biden Administration and Taiwan, under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. It also says the agreement and future agreements with Taiwan cannot take effect without congressional approval and requires that the Biden Administration going forward report to and consult with Congress and the American people on any agreements with Taiwan, which will ensure America’s workers, farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are front and center in America’s trade policy.

In remarks during debate on the House Floor, Ways and Means Chairman Smith reiterated how Congressional leadership in trade negotiations ensures the voices of the American people are heard and represented:

“Every American deserves a voice in the outcome of these negotiations that impact their lives so much, which is why Congress, as their voice in Washington, must be involved in the development and approval of these agreements.


“The Taiwan trade bill before us today restores Congressional authority on trade policy. It celebrates this agreement, but it also makes it clear that it cannot take effect unless this legislation is signed into law. It forces the Administration to consult with Congress in a meaningful way moving forward, something that has not occurred to date. And it requires any future deals with Taiwan to be subject to a vote in Congress. Without a vote on trade agreements, Congress can be ignored.


“This will ensure trade agreements are in the best interest of American workers, families, farmers, and small businesses.”

Click here to read Chairman Smith’s full remarks.

The United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 4004):

  • Provides for congressional approval of the first trade agreement arising from the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade;
  • Imposes new congressional consultation and transparency requirements on the Administration with respect to the negotiation of any subsequent agreements arising under the initiative, and requires such agreements be subject to a Congressional vote of approval to take effect; and
  • Reiterates that under the U.S. Constitution Congress has sole authority over international trade and the President lacks the authority to enter into binding trade agreements without approval from Congress.